Dr. Linda Nield

Without a good dose of energetic outdoor play and fresh air, kids can get that restless feeling called “cabin fever.” Try these cabin fever cures from WVU Medicine pediatrician Linda Nield, MD, to help you and your family members get moving this winter.

Play outside. Playing outside during the winter does not cause the flu or a cold – germs are the culprit. Dress warmly in layered clothing, apply sunscreen and lip balm, and you’re all set to get moving. While outside, encourage kids to play games, like hide-and-seek and bean-bag toss, or plan a scavenger hunt that involves the entire family.

Take advantage of snow sports. Challenging your children to race in deep snow can provide gentle resistance for a more advanced workout. Sledding/tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and other creative snow activities can be enjoyed safely with adult supervision and proper equipment.

Plan a fun outing. Visit a school gymnasium, an ice rink, or an indoor swimming pool. Basketball, soccer, ice skating, and swimming provide your kids with a great workout. Make up contests with rewards for motivation. Some gyms may even have winter sports teams for kids.

Take an instructional class. Dance, martial arts, yoga, and gymnastics combine aerobic activity with muscle strength and balance exercises. There are a lot of local programs to choose from. Your kids will stay active and make new friends.

Try exercise video games. When the weather is too bad to leave the house, dance or sport video games that require physical movement will help your kids work up a sweat.

Clean the house. Playing music and dancing while doing chores can make it fun and get the job done faster.

Does your child need to see a doctor? Make an appointment: 855-WVU-CARE